Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday School Special & a note

Today we went to a branch (congregation way smaller than a ward) far away in Western Oklahoma. (Our stake - larger congregation made up of many wards & a couple of branches - is really big.)
We drove and drove and had a great time on our way there.
The boys deleted miss s's phone/toy battery at lightening speed on the way there.
my mr. and I had a nice two hour plus conversation with our other adult traveling companion.
miss h arrived home from college last night, so she came along.
She and miss s slept most of the way there.
(We left a little after 7am because we had to pick up our traveling companion. And there was a little confusion as to which street that traveling companion lived on, so we lost a little bit of time.)

When we got there right before 10am, I had something pressing to deal with - even though the meeting was about to start.

So I dealt with it.

And my mr. made faces at me when I came in during the opening hymn and didn't come sit with him and miss h and little mr. b at the front of the congregation. I chose to sit with the congregation with miss s and little mr. j because sometimes those two can really push each other's buttons and I didn't want any of that silliness during the meeting and probably really because I didn't want to sit up front and have people looking at me.

Anyway, I am glad I sat with my kids with the congregation.
I was kind of hoping that maybe because my son, my daughter, my husband, and our traveling companion were all speaking that maybe I could get out of it. But, when the man conducting the meeting announced the speakers and read my name I waved to let him know I was actually there.

I kept it short and because my talk was about living a Christ like life, I told my crazy gym lady/substitute teacher story and said that I was glad that I acted in a kind way. (And used some quotes from this wonderful message.)

All the other talks were awesome of course. Our traveling companion concluded the meeting by asking us to remember the first time we really, really felt the Spirit and told a wonderful story of a childhood Christmas when he first remembers feeling that wonderful thing.

But the part I liked best about the meeting was what happened next.  When he asked that question, little mr. j nodded his head yes. So I leaned over and asked him if he would tell me when he'd felt the Spirit.  He said, "Last Sunday at the Cantata."  (Last Sunday we attended our Stake's annual Cantata - an hour of inspiring music and words about Christmas.  There was also a huge display of over 600 nativities & a children's room where little mr. j got to make his own precious manger and baby Jesus with a styrofoam cup, crinkled up paper and a tiny piece of wood & fabric.) I could tell his heart was touched that night & we had talked about what that warm, peaceful feeling in his heart meant last Sunday. 

Then on a little notebook I had given him to draw in during the meeting, he wrote,

"I do not theke Flute crsmets .is .ubat santa it is ubat Jesus."

And I did not cry, but oh did  that sweet message warm my heart.
He knows.
He really knows, at his young age, what Christmas is really all about.

I asked him to please read me his note and he said,
"I do not think that Christmas is about Santa. It is about Jesus."
I'm so glad I sat in the congregation.


Note: miss h is graciously letting me use her computer. (Thank you, miss h!) Mine is very, very ill. I am planning on taking it to the computer doctor tomorrow, but have no idea what the diagnosis will be. You might not be reading anything new here for a short while & sadly, I have fallen off the photo challenge. Hopefully my old machine and I will be back at it very soon. Thanks for your understanding!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Days 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, & 13

This is where you get to see how awesome creativity can be:

Day 7: 7 Things
(7 white stripes - yes, there is a 7th - look very, very closely screen left one third down)
Day 8: Close up
(Can you guess what it is?)
Day 9: Black and White
(I heart instagram.)
Day 10: Someone I love
(Did you guess what it is? If not, here's a hint - it's being worn by someone I love)
Day 11: Body Part
(to cover up a body part)
Day 12: Skipping it for now
Day 13: Something Orange

Here's the lesson:
It's good to do the things you want to do.
Sometimes you will accept 6 days in a row of substituting jobs
and not get any of your 'wants' accomplished.
But, if you are creative, you can try.

Two more lessons:
It is very advantageous to get 'things' done ahead of time
dry shampoo rocks.

Friday, December 9, 2011

School Days, School Days & Sunday School: Remember Who You Are

I've been having school days.
Six in fact.
In a row.
And wow, what an education.

I have learned that the "word" in 6th grade is "freaking."
I used to say that word for a brief moment somewhere early in my middle aged life.
I don't like that word, it's just a substitute for the real "f" word.
At least now I know why my son is saying it sometimes.

The fifth grade girls are totally into knitting.
And one named little miss m said that if I brought the supplies in next time I substituted, she'd be happy to teach me how to make her way awesome scarves.
There were a lot of little knitted headbands and fingers about to fall off because of misguided finger knitting.
Thankfully none fell off.

The girls liked my boots and even the boys admired the colorful beads on the one colorful bead necklace I own. Some sweet child told me I looked like I was 30 years old.

And the rest is all turning into a blur because I met so many new faces in such a short amount of time.
But there was one exchange that I will never forget.

(Just to help you understand this story I am going to give you a short prologue. Facts of which many of you already know -but just in case- here it is.  I serve as the youth leader for the young women (ages 12-18) in our congregation.  That means most Wednesday evenings, I am at the church with our very many in number young women. We share our building with three other congregations. Three other congregations whose youth groups meet on Wednesday evenings as well. Three groups that meet and in theory have set times and places where they are supposed to be so that we can all fit. Then we get to add in everybody's cub scouts & 11 year old scouts, the activity day girls and various other people who decide Wednesday night is a convenient night to meet because everyone's at the church already so it's no big deal. Well, guess what- it is a big deal. There's no space and dealing with the chaos of all those people takes a quarter of our time before we can even begin. I've become a bit obsessive about and protective of our time and space.)

(Oh, you also need to know that I am substituting at our neighborhood school. The neighborhood school and it's district is in our congregation's boundaries. If there is a child at our school that attends our church, I know or know of them.)

At the beginning of one of my 5th grade classes, a friendly whistling boy came in and asked my name.
I told him and as greeted the other kids in the class he said, "Hey, I know you."
And I said, "How?" because I certainly didn't know him.
And a few minutes went by and he said, "What church do you go to?"
And I said, "I don't think you know me from church, because I know most all the kids at our church."
And he said, "Really, what church do you go to?"
So I told him and he said, "I knew it."
"Oh - no," as it dawns on me, "I'm the crazy lady who kicked you out of the gym aren't I?"
And he said, "Yes."
"But you did it in a real nice way."

(He'd gone to scouts with a friend of his from a different congregation.)

So I guess I never know who's watching, so I better always remember who I am & act accordingly.
This new week, I know I am not a substitute.
I will act accordingly.
Thank goodness.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Day 6 Photo Challenge

Day 6: Vehicle
(plus a little Oklahoma Merry Christmas ala jingle bells, shotgun shells)
(you can't see it, but they were rigged to light up)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Photo Challenge Days 3, 4, and 5

Day 3: Landscape

Day 4 & 5: Animal & Toy

Ok, so days 4 & 5 are kind of a cop out,
but the picture is one of my favorites.
You can find the original here.

Here's a link to the photo challenge, if you'd like to join:

I've been spending a lot of time somewhere near that landscape picture
with lots of loud kids.
I am finding my inner 'listen to me voice'
and testing it out on unsuspecting sixth and seventh graders.
But most of them are much louder than me.
And I can't compete.
So I charge them a debt of silence
and after it is repaid
we go on with our day.

I won't do that to you.
See you tomorrow!

Friday, December 2, 2011


*Day 2

The alarm woke me mid dreams of silverware.
little mr. j woke up saying, "I had the best, best, best, best, best, best, best dream ever."

I had to ask, "little mr. j, what was the best, best, best, best, best, best dream ever about?"
He was smiling and animated and told us (the whole family was together in the living room because we get up at an horrible hour weekday mornings to have family prayer).

Fast cars. Lots of them. "And I mean lots, like lots lots of super fast ones."
What kinds of cars? I can't remember all he said, but Porsche was one of them.
No Ferrari.
Which is weird because that boy used to want to change his name to Red Ferrari.

I'm trying to figure out why no Ferrari.
I think maybe it's because a few times the last few weeks, I have used the word practical.

He wanted to know why more people don't drive Ferrari's.
So I told him the weren't practical.
And he has asked what that word means.
And I have tried to explain to him that it means something useful or that is helpful or needed.
And he said he just didn't get it.
So I said that
a Ferrari wouldn't be a practical car for me to have.
It could go fast, but it couldn't carry many groceries or people.
He decided that the car I have is practical but it sure would be nice if we had a Ferrari.

I fear that our practical conversations have impeded upon his dreams.
I sure hope not. I hope his dream Ferrari was just hiding out, waiting to appear on a night it's truly needed.

And I'm a little bit perturbed about the dream & the dream conversation & the happenings after the prayer and the second dream conversation.

When I asked him to please tell me all about the dream again - this time in front of a camera (because my brain loses things and this is a cute memory I want to replay) - he decided it wasn't practical and that it was plain embarassing.

So I said, "go back to bed."
And he did.

It's amazing how things can become impediments on our dreams.
Bye for now- I need to get some kitchen work done.


*The photo above is part of a photography challenge  that my husband's cousin's husband is hosting.
 Day 2: Something blue.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Getting Called Out

My husband's cousin's husband called me out on facebook today.
Well, me and another woman named Corrie. Who, by my reading way into the comments she left on his comment to us, is kind of thinking the same thing that I'm thinking about how in the world can I do this at this time right now with all I've got going.
Well, I don't know if that's what she really was thinking, but I put it into my version of life right now.
Anyway, Mr. Photokapi, I will accept your challenge and probably fail,
but it will be a nice distraction from all the necessities of life that have been keeping me away from here of late. (And when I say of late, I mean all this summer, fall and now into winter. Blech.)
Thanks for the challenge.
Today's is a self portrait.
I am not taking a self portrait today.
My breath is bad and I need to wash my hair.
I did let miss s take a video of me last night singing/chanting the "way up in the sky, the little birds fly, way down in the nest, the little birds rest,........." song.
By the way she was laughing, I guess I did a pretty awesome job.
But I will not be posting that because she taped it, not me.
So, here is an oldy but a goody:

First Day of Advent

my mr. showed me this.
Now I'm sharing with you.
It reminds of two young boys I know.
I wish we could all have hearts like like his.

Deliver Me From Donut Day

Again, I haven't written in a while, but I don't want to forget this one. It's a doozy. I work in an elementary school. I teach ...